FNE at Golden Rose National Film Festival 2021: Uncle Claus

    Uncle Claus by Ivaylo Penchev Uncle Claus by Ivaylo Penchev

    VARNA: Ivaylo Penchev’s third feature film Uncle Claus, produced by Cinemaq, will screen in the main competition of the 39th Golden Rose National Film Festival (23 – 29 September 2021). The film is a romantic tragicomic story taking place during the Christmas holidays.

    Bozhan Petrov, Ivaylo Penchev and Vesel Tsankov wrote the script inspired by a TV report from 17 December 2017, which unveiled the sad destiny of a Bulgarian boy, abandoned by his adoptive American parents.

    “We did not perceive this news as a tearful melodrama, but as an occasion for creating a tender story on the dreams of ordinary people. During the working process, we invented a child longing for a family, a taxi driver meeting a girl, and several other “small people” characters. We wanted to show that as long as they believe in Uncle Claus, their Christmas wishes could become true”, Ivaylo Penchev told FNE. “That is why our plot is between the comic and the tragic, the romantic and the absurd”, Penchev added.

    Some of Penchev’s favourite actors appear in the cast: Phillip Avramov, Malin Krastev, Vasil Banov, Stefan Denolyubov and Anya Pencheva. Еight-year-old Alen Angelov plays the child.

    The film is lensed by Penchev’s usual collaborator Georgi Chelebiev.

    Cinemaq produced the film with a budget of around 550,000 EUR and the support of the Bulgarian National Film Center.

    The film was shot for six weeks between 18 November 2020 and 30 January 2021 in Sofia. Waiting for snow imposed some unwanted breaks. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there were nearly no Christmas decorations and the production had to make them for the shooting sets. At the same time, all malls were closed, therefore shootings were allowed inside only during the night. The episodes with children were shot during the day, in front of a green screen.

    The premiere of the film took place on 28 August 2021 in the frames of the 29th edition of the Love is Folly IFF.

    The domestic release is planned for 2022.

    Production Information:

    Cinemaq - Ivaylo Penchev (Bulgaria)
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    Urban Media (Bulgaria)
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    Director: Ivaylo Penchev
    Scriptwriters: Bozhan Petrov, Ivaylo Penchev, Vesel Tsankov
    DoP: Georgi Chelebiev
    Music: George Strezov, Alexander Kostov, Simeon Edward, Velislava Georgieva
    Cast: Phillip Avramov, Alen Angelov, Malin Krastev, Simona Halacheva, Vasil Banov, Stefan Denolyubov, Svezhen Mladenov, Milena Avramova, Kitodar Todorov, Meglena Karalambova, Ivaylo Dragiev, Anya Pencheva